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My Mom's dementia...My birthday

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Old 03-08-2016, 11:31 AM   #1
Diandra
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Default My Mom's dementia...My birthday

Hi All,
As some of you know, my 92 yr old mother lives with me and my husband.
She has her own apt in our home.
I try to have breakfast with her every morning.
She has dementia and we have learned to deal with its progression....
Or so I thought.

Today is my birthday, and despite my husband writing it down for her and buying a card she signed last night and leaving it propped up on her coffee cup, when I joined her for breakfast, she had not remembered. As I sat having coffee with her, I thought, decades ago this woman gave birth to me and today I sit here with her and she barely speaks.

For those of you who go, or have gone through this, I know this is one of the heartbreaks but today is the worst she has been in awhile and it just seems especially sad, poignant and heartbreaking on my birthday. I think it is because my motherinlaw died a few weeks ago and my husband retires in a few weeks,
I struggle with cancer issues and can't talk to her about it....or perhaps I am just too self absorbed? I also wondered if she was struggling because she knew she was supposed to remember something today and she couldn't?

Some days she amazes me with what she remembers and other days she is like a toddler who needs help with grooming and dressing. A week ago, she came into the room as I was watching the new X-files and she said, "what's that actors name?" and I honestly couldn't come up with it and she came up with David Duchovney....I almost fell over.

Would love some words of wisdom for those who have traveled this road.
Thanks, Diandra
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:29 PM   #2
Lara
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No words of wisdom from me I'm sorry, but I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:05 PM   #3
kiwi33
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Diandra, maybe I understand a little of what you are experiencing.

This is not about me but when my mother-in-law was in the later stages of dementia she became unable to recognise a photo of her deceased husband. The best that she could come up with was that it was maybe a photo of somebody who she used to know.

My wife found that hard to deal with as did I but we looked to each other for support, which helped. I hope that will work for you as well.

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Old 03-09-2016, 10:46 AM   #4
St George 2013
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Hey there sweet lady.

I'm pretty much dealing with the same thing. It's so sad and frustrating. My mom will be 85 on Sunday. She still washes my dishes and clothes everyday. Since I lost Bubba we have very few clothes but she drives me crazy to wash something so I'll throw a blanket out there for her to wash even if it's clean !

I don't have as much patience with my mom as I wish I did. My pain makes it worse to deal with. I know she can't help it and I try very hard to answer her questions over and over

I don't have any advise but hope others will come along and maybe give suggestions both of us can use.

Take care of yourself.

Debi from Georgia
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:55 PM   #5
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While I don't have any suggestions, I thought I would mention my cousins go thru loosing their mother to this disease.

My Aunt's memory began noticeable failing in her early eighties. My Uncle and she had a caregiver with them while they were staying in their own home. (Cousins would check in frequently.)

Eventually my Aunt would wander during what should have been sleeping hours. There was great concern about that as well as many other situations. My cousins decided it was time to see she was well cared for in a home that was geared to handled those with this condition.

She just smiled and looked the happiest I had ever seen her. When I came to visit one day; she looked at me and said "do I know you", with a great big smile.

Since my Aunt was nearby, my cousin visited her quite often. My cousin said her Mother forgot all the people she didn't like and no longer found fault with anyone. I am sure this not the case with all those whose memory had failed; but in her case; she was always smiling. She passed a few years ago. My cousin said she really missed visiting her Mother; she enjoyed her so much.

My heart goes out to all those having to watch their loved ones go thru this loss.


Gerry
P.S.
Birthday wishes for someone very "special".. Diandra....

Last edited by ger715; 03-09-2016 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:23 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your kind support.
You are all giving me exactly what I need....just knowing I am not alone in this journey.

My Mother is at the point where sometimes she is lucid and Ok and sometimes she is not and she gets very sad during the lucid times when she realizes she is losing it. I know all we can do is take it a day at a time.

Thanks for being supportive...truly, I appreciate it.

D.
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Old 03-11-2016, 04:51 PM   #7
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Hi diandra

Belated Happy Birthday

Re your Mother - I personally didn't have to go through that with either of my parents but I spent a lot of time with the mother of a close friend who had dementia. She was eventually cared for in a rest home but as her daughters were both working full-time during the week I used to visit. She had known me for over 30 years and at first she remembered who I was and my name - this gradually faded but I found that trying to make her laugh was one of the best things - even if it meant singing old songs together or getting her to tell me stories about her earlier life.

Another thing was I used to take her a small gift each time I visited - strawberries from the garden, posy of flowers, a particular type of ice-cream cone that had been around for years, etc. Right to the end even if she didn't remember who I was I could still arrive and she would say "oh Freesias - I love freesias" or "TipTop trumpet my favorite ice-cream" - she still associated particular things with good memories.

All the best with your journey.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:53 PM   #8
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Just wanted to say how sweet it was of you to visit your friends mother and loved the suggestion of little gifts. Just awesome of you !

Debi from Georgia


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Originally Posted by bluesfan View Post
Hi diandra

Belated Happy Birthday

Re your Mother - I personally didn't have to go through that with either of my parents but I spent a lot of time with the mother of a close friend who had dementia. She was eventually cared for in a rest home but as her daughters were both working full-time during the week I used to visit. She had known me for over 30 years and at first she remembered who I was and my name - this gradually faded but I found that trying to make her laugh was one of the best things - even if it meant singing old songs together or getting her to tell me stories about her earlier life.

Another thing was I used to take her a small gift each time I visited - strawberries from the garden, posy of flowers, a particular type of ice-cream cone that had been around for years, etc. Right to the end even if she didn't remember who I was I could still arrive and she would say "oh Freesias - I love freesias" or "TipTop trumpet my favorite ice-cream" - she still associated particular things with good memories.

All the best with your journey.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #9
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Diandra,

Please let me start by saying what a gracious thing you have done to care for your mother while you yourself are suffering from illness. I hope you can take time for yourself amongst all the needs of your mother.

My mother-in-law was about my current age when I met her. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 6 or 7 years ago and did finally pass away in 2014. She was a bright and caring person who always thought of others before herself. It was tough watching her decline.

I had worked in the medical field with several patients with dementia, but it never was as hard to live it with a loved one. So much changed toward the end, as her walking, talking, and daily living skills were lost. How I missed the days of chatting with her about anything over a cup of tea.

Toward the end, she failed to recognize us, but on some days her smile would stretch across her face and she would reach for you in a moment of clarity. I hang onto the memories of those moments when I remember her.

So difficult to go through, but she has someone she loves close by her and taking care of her in you and your husband. I did not live with my mother-in-law, but I had her and my father-in-law over on the weekends to give him some needed personal time. I took some comfort in knowing I tried to be there for my mother-in-law and did what I could to show her how much I loved her even if she may not have able to fully appreciate it.

Hope I helped you with your questions. Take care, M-i-m
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